Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 September 2021 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 

Then it was Thursday…and a surge of power echoes through our work weary souls, because tomorrow is Friday, and we can see the end of the work week in sight! Oh my people, have you ever noticed the dichotomy in our souls and spirits when we are tired, but can see a light at the end of the tunnel? That light, dim, though it may be, resurrects the hope and faith in our tired beings. And that’s exactly what Jesus Christ brings to the table when we sincerely accept Him as Lord and Saviour. 

Yes friends, Jesus produces a divine light in our lives when we live for Him, a light that we look forward to, have hope and faith in. He said it Himself. ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! That means a life free from the ravages of sin and evil; one where we can breathe easy despite the most enormous problems surrounding us, because we depend on the One in whom there is no darkness, only light, Jesus Christ the bright Morning star. Hear how John further puts it in his first epistle nuh. He says very confidently: ‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.’ (1 John 1:5) Wow friends! What a magnificent word and teaching. 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus. John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good; there is no sin nor evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ And indeed they do, as we listen to the verses that the scholars refer to. ‘If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth:’ (1 John 1:6) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘1:6. Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ 

Now, if John though that such a situation was bad in his day…brother…he ought to experience them today, where numerous supposed Christians are undoubtedly living a life of sin, while pretending to be so holy and righteous. And unfortunately, we find a lot of that in the leadership and upper echelons of Christ’s church, where those who are supposed to be setting a good example are being outed almost every day in some sinful scandal or the other. Unfortunately, Christ’s church is amongst the most scandalous organizations on the earth! 

However, as John continues: ‘But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:7) Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is that eh? When we walk in true light and fellowship, the blood of Christ cleanses us, washes away our sin. Listen to the scholars once more. ‘1:7. “God is light” (vs. 5). To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf. Rom. 6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And what a powerful antidote the blood of Jesus truly is my brethren! If it can wash away sin and keep one free from the bondage of sin, then it must indeed be extremely powerful, possibly the most powerful antidote in God’s great universe, since sin is the most powerful and pervasive negative agent around. And being the good spoon feeder that I am, (smile) here is that verse the scholars mention above from Romans, with some context.

Bruh Paul wrote: ‘But God be thanked, that (though) ye were the servants (slaves) of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you (to which you were entrusted). Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.’ (Rom. 6:17-18) Yes friends, like the church at Rome, we heard the doctrine of the gospel of Christ preached and believed. It profoundly affected our lives, as doctrine is supposed to do. And that means we are not free to do whatever we want, but must follow the doctrine, doing stuff that is consistent with God’s character. ‘True freedom is freedom from sin.’ 

That’s why John persisted in telling us about sin, its reality and remedy. ‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (sin). If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.’ (1 John 1:8-9) 

John could not have said it any clearer. And nothing has changed from his day. Just like there were some saying that they had no sin back then, we have plenty who are making the same claim today. But that’s a fool’s wisdom, since the Good Book clearly states: ‘For we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) Sin is what caused, and still causes the ungodliness and depravity in the world. So, if we say that we don’t have sin, then we’re lying. And furthermore, we are also making God a liar, because He says that we have sin. 

And Jesus taught us that if we owned up to our sin, we could be forgiven, ‘while those who were blind to their sin would be left mired in it (cf. John 9:41).’ And here is that verse, where Jesus said to the Pharisees in answer to the question ‘Are we blind also?’ ‘If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.’ (John 9:40-41) Count on Jesus to tie up the Pharisees with His divine logic! (smile) 

So friends, let’s admit our sin nuh, and wisely turn to Christ for forgiveness, for He doesn’t only dole out forgiveness but also incredible blessings when we sincerely try to live for Him. Now, let’s declare just a handful of them (smile) from what we call our Thursday Blessings just to show how truly wonderful our heavenly Father and Saviour are. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others as Jesus shared them with us. That’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…sin…the cause of man’s fall…forgiveness…the divine act that makes him rise again…                                                                                                         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 August 2019 John 1:5.

John 1:5.    ​And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.
 

Welcome to a glorious Friday friends! And it’s all the Lord’s doing on our behalf! All praise and glory to His holy name! So please, let’s make the effort, show the necessary gratitude and rejoice and be glad in it nuh! That’s the only wise and sensible thing to do in light of His wonderful gesture. But yuh know, sometimes it seems that the unbelievers are more grateful for the good days they enjoy than we believers. 

Listen to the ordinary workingman, as he sings his Friday song nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! My most favourite day, because it heralds the start of the weekend, where my time is my own, to do with as I like and please. And I can tell anybody to go jump in the lake if I don’t like their suggestions for how I’m spending, or planning to spend my time! 

And it sure feels good when you can tell some farse or nosy somebody to mind their own business! Too many people in this world today don’t have no business of their own, or just like to mind other people’s business! Chuh! I don’t mind theirs, so why they have to bother with mine eh? But enough about them yes! Today is Friday, and it bright and sunshiny, so me and mine going to enjoy it to the fullest. 

I’m even going to take a half-day off from the slave master work – tough if he doh like it – and go home and spend it with the children. Might even take them down to the Ex; that big country fair down by the CNE grounds on the Lakeshore. They would certainly enjoy that! But let’s see how the day plays out nuh, before we make any firm commitments. We’ll just be thankful that it’s Friday and the start of the weekend! Praise God for that yes!’ 

Ah mih fellow saints, how many of us get so excited about another supposed ordinary day eh? Not too many of us, who are supposed to be the most joyful people in the world. But we not going to preach on the subject (smile), let’s just chant our Friday Chant, sing our weekend song. 

As one, strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh, it’s not as enthusiastic and colourful as the workingman’s offering, but it sure does keep us on the straight and narrow. And today, I want to share the scriptures I had planned to share yesterday when the Lord guided me in a different direction. It’s the same Bit: ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ And unfortunately that hasn’t changed much since John wrote that some two thousand years ago. And why is that eh? 

Possibly because as Jesus explains: ‘And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth (practices) evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deed should be reproved (exposed).’ (John 3:19-20) And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers? We hide what we don’t want others to see in the darkness, behind closed doors. 

But please remember Jesus’ warning: ‘Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed, neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets (secretly in inner rooms) shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.’ (Luke 12:1b-3) 

Oh my people, all the things we hide and do in the darkness will one day be revealed publicly! And besides the Lord sees them when we do them now, so what’s the purpose of hiding eh? As they say, our true self is reflected in what we do in darkness, behind closed doors, when no one else is around. So anything else we do differently in the light is pure hypocrisy. 

As the scholars explain: ‘12:1-2. Hypocrisy, piety just for the sake of appearance is futile; for even hidden motives will one day be laid bare by God.’  Please believe that my people, and let’s try our best to only deal with true and godly motives, it will pay big dividends for us in the long run. Now let’s see how many of those original scriptures on light we can get in now, because the Bit’s again gone in a slightly different direction than I had planned. (smile) 

And I guess the best one to begin with is Bruh David’s proclamation in Psalm 27: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?’ (Ps.27:1) Not a single soul my people! Then in Psalm 119, the psalmist declares: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps.119:105) So true friends, the Lord’s Word is our guidebook for earthly living! 

And Isaiah declares: ‘Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.’ (Is.5:20) Yuh better believe it! And what better way to end than with John’s poignant declaration: 

‘This the is the message which we have heard of him (Jesus), and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not (practice) the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

Please friends, let’s ponder on those oh significant and important words today nuh, and see if we’re truly walking in the light or just fooling ourselves, and actually walking in darkness. But whatever answer we get, please let’s also ask the Lord for His awesome help to truly walk in His Light. That’s wisdom of undeterminable proportions! Much LOVE!

…you can’t truly walk in the Light of Christ…and in the darkness of Satan…at the same time…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 August 2015 Matthew 5:14‏‏‏

Matthew 5:14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Okay all you party people, it’s Sunday, time to get up and get yourselves to church, for this is the day that was ordained by God for His children to gather in His sanctuary every week to worship Him and to revive and refresh our faith and witness. Yes Friends, leaving church makes you feel reinvigorated, renewed, and lifts your spirits.  

And we don’t want any petty excuses like I’m tired because I was out partying till late. You should have thought about that before. When you came home from work or wherever, you were tired too, but that didn’t stop you from going out to party, so please don’t let a little tiredness, plus a lot of apathy and laziness stop you from going to praise and worship and give thanks to your heavenly Creator this Caribana Sunday morning of  2015!

I’m chuckling here Friends, but seriously, that is the exact scenario that’s playing out in many Christian homes this Sunday morning. What is it eh about going to church that makes it feel like pulling teeth, but going out to parties requires a tight hold on our reins?

And yet we still profess to LOVE God so much. But how can you LOVE Him when you don’t want to go to His house and make nice with Him eh? I guess it’s partly because we still have this idea of God being some faraway, ephemeral Being, more like a fairy-tale king, who just sits on His throne in heaven on high and looks down on us mere mortals with only a cursory glance and an occasional nod.

But that’s the furthest thing from the truth Friends, because our wonderful God is always right beside us. In fact He dwells within us through the power of His Holy Spirit and He is very much interested in EVERY thing we do, because He truly LOVES us, with a LOVE so great that He even gave His one and only son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice so that we could be reconciled to Him! Now if that isn’t real true LOVE, I don’t know what is.

Somehow though, we seem to have a real problem reciprocating that LOVE! But if we truly want to spend eternity with Him in heaven, my people we have to get to a point of true LOVE, surrender and obedience to the Father’s will. Another part of our problem is that we’re too much into the things and ways of this wicked world, which are in complete opposition to those of God.

That brings to mind a recent interesting quote from our friend Anselm, who delights in inspiring us for a better tomorrow. And Anselm warns; ‘Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.’

And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Many of us don’t have enough because we are always concentrating on and complaining about what we don’t have, which only aggravates our spirits and drives us nuts. However, when we’re thankful for whatever we have, we bring a different element, a different emotion to the table; one of contentment, of sufficiency, at least for the time being, instead of constantly being uptight and wanting.

Remember the ole Jamaican saying: ‘Wanty wanty, never get it?’(smile) That’s also indisputable truth! As sincere, practicing Christians though, what we need to do is to set a proper example for the rest of the world, for the infidel, the heathen, to follow.

As Jesus so wisely puts it our Bit: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ And we all know that to be true, that’s why lighthouses were always built on hilly ground, so that their light could be seen from far and wide and give good guidance to the travellers seeking it.

That’s our mission on this earth people; to be guiding lights in a world of darkness. Not necessarily as overblown as a light house, but certainly at least as a large lamp. 

As Bruh Paul advised the Ephesians when talking about the ways of the believer: ‘For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.’ (Eph.5:8) Yes my people, that’s certainly Jesus’ expectation of His followers.

And the scholars give us this bit of info on that verse. ‘5:8. Darkness indicates that the readers used to be spiritually unenlightened, and accompanying this ignorance was immorality with its resultant guilt and misery. Light denotes that the recipients are now to be religiously informed. Their knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness.’

Ah mih breddren, what is it going to take for us to really wake up and see and truthfully accept the light eh? We have to do it real soon Friends, because Jesus can return at any moment, and then it will be too late.

Listen to how John describes God’s light in his first epistle. ‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not (practice) the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1John 1:5-7) What awesome consolation Friends!

And the scholars offer this info on those verses. ‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus. John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good; there is thus no sin or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’

‘1:6. Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John say boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’

‘1:7. “God is light” (v.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from the bondage of sin (cf. Rom 6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’  

Voilà! There we have it Friends! The only antidote and the best defence against Lucifer’s evil presence and power: the shed BLOOD of Jesus Christ! So please, let’s be wise and go to the cross and take hold of it nuh, so that we can run with it blazing like a brilliant torch of hope in the darkness of this satanic world. That’s wisdom everlasting! Much LOVE!

…while ye have light…believe in the light…that ye may be…the children of light…  (John 12:36a)